If you go
What: Book signing of "Duncan's Christmas Cat'astrophe" by Annie Jarrett-Keffeler
Where: Dr. Dawn's Pet Stop, 1202 12th Ave. SE
When: 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22
Details: Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
A black-and-white cat that follows his natural inclination to destroy Christmas trees is the subject of a new children's Christmas book called "Duncan's Christmas Cat'astrophe."
Duncan is a 2-year-old cat owned by Annie Jarrett-Keffeler and her husband, Ryan. The couple live on small farm near Buchanan, and Annie Jarrett-Keffeler wrote the book after finding inspiration in watching Duncan attack their Christmas tree.
Jarrett-Keffeler said she was on the phone talking with Connie Gorrell, her publisher, around Thanksgiving last year and was watching her husband put up the Christmas tree.
"Ryan was trying to put a string of lights on the tree," she said. "I was on the phone with Connie and he (Duncan) was going crazy with the lights."
At the time, Jarrett-Keffeler said she told her publisher she had an idea for a children's Christmas book for 2016 about a cat and how he plans to do battle with a Christmas tree each year.
"She (Gorrell) thought it (the idea) was hysterical," she said. "I started taking notes about what he (Duncan) did with the tree from then on out."
Jarrett-Keffeler said some of Duncan's mischief with the Christmas tree ornaments has been baffling.
"We've had ornaments completely disappear," she said. "We don't know where he hides them. He doesn't eat them, we don't see any cuts or scratches on him."
She said Duncan is otherwise a pleasant cat, but the Christmas tree, the ornaments, lights and even the Christmas tree skirt are irresistible.
Jarrett-Keffeler said she started working on the book in the spring. Gorrell arranged for Jarrett-Keffeler to work with Jeanine Henning, an illustrator who lives in South Africa. She said Henning's drawings captured the playfulness she was looking for in Duncan's interaction with the Christmas tree.
She said it took about seven to eight months to get the book completed and copies ordered through the publishing company. The first 250 copies arrived on Nov. 18, and most of those have been sold. Jarrett-Keffeler said she ordered more for her book signing at Dr. Dawn's Pet Stop later this month.
Jarrett-Keffeler said she wants to write a series of books on Bentley, a basset hound she and her husband had that died a couple of years ago. She also has plans to do a children's book on the adventures of their other dog, Ozzie, a stray that wandered onto their farm that the couple adopted.
"Ozzie is a bit of a wanderer, so I wrote down my perceptions of what I thought he ran into during his journeys," she said.
The book costs $10.99 and can be purchased at Amazon.com or at anniemarie.net.